Objects set up in the imaging lab ready to be digitised.

Digitisation Strategy 2014-2017

Read the Digitisation Strategy 2014-2017.


Since the introduction of the Digitisation Strategy 2010-2015 the National Library of New Zealand1. (NLNZ)
has digitised 1.9 million items. While this is an impressive number, it covers only a small proportion of the NLNZ collections and the early stages of making important New Zealand content available online. The
NLNZ newspaper collection alone is estimated to contain 20 million pages of newspapers, while Papers Past recently passed 3.1 million pages.

In the years since the Digitisation Strategy was introduced in 2010, the landscape in which the NLNZ is
operating has changed significantly. The NLNZ has been amalgamated into the Department of Internal Affairs alongside Archives New Zealand (ANZ). There has been an increased emphasis placed on collaborative digitisation to deliver more content and to gain access to collections not held by NLNZ. We have also seen the development of mass digitisation projects, such as Google Books, that have digitised millions of titles, with New Zealanders having limited access to these collections.


The purpose of the Strategy is to provide direction for digitisation activity at the NLNZ and to identify the key priorities to be addressed over the next three years. The Strategy also demonstrates how digitisation
helps enable the NLNZ to deliver on its goals Collect, Connect and Co-create knowledge to power New Zealand, while connecting into the wider strategic context of the library environment and NLNZ’s position with the Department of Internal Affairs.

Scope and Definitions

While the Digitisation Strategy focuses on giving users improved access to NLNZ collections, it also recognises that there are significant collections held throughout New Zealand. The NLNZ has a unique role and mandate to provide leadership and assistance across the wider sector to enable New Zealanders access to these collections. It also acknowledges that NLNZ has entered into a strategic partnership with Archives New Zealand to deliver shared outcomes where possible.

A significant inclusion within the scope of the Digitisation Strategy is enabling access to New Zealand content already digitised and held within national and international repositories. The Hathi Trust2. includes approximately 10,000 New Zealand titles, but only 6% of these are available for New Zealanders. The NLNZ needs to make sure New Zealanders can access this content, both now and into the future, alongside content digitised by NLNZ.

For the purposes of this Strategy, digitisation is defined as the end-to-end process used to transfer analogue materials to a digital format. At its core are scoping, planning, digital capture and acceptance; these steps are dependent on collection care to enable digitisation, description, online publication and digital preservation. Born-digital objects do not fit within the scope of this strategy.

Print the complete ‘Digitisation Strategy 2014–2017’ which includes definitions, goals, processes that guided the Library’s digitisation activity 2014–2017.

Digitisation Strategy 2014–2017 (pdf, 1.3MB)

Feature image at top of page: In the imaging lab working on digitising library items. Photo Mark Beatty.